Having a newborn is full of fun moments and challenges.
But one of the toughest things parents will discover, along with the lack of sleep and learning curve, is the sheer lack of boundaries some people are willing to observe.
It’s almost like, once they’re around a baby, all their manners seem to go out the window, observed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor leafytealemons was recently at a loss for words when her mother didn’t understand the concept of calling ahead.
But after her mother scoffed at her reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have handled the situation differently.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for literally ignoring my mother when she popped by unannounced?”
The OP and her wife recently adopted a baby girl.
“My wife (30 [female]) and I (32 [female], we’re both women) are new parents to a baby girl.”
“This is pretty big since just a few months ago, we had our hearts broken (if anyone remembers my last post before it was taken down, we didn’t pursue it further because it was just too much).”
“Seeing as we never thought that we’d have a baby so quickly (though we are 150% over the moon!), we’ve also had a lot to learn as new parents.”
“My wife’s parents are perfect and amazing, they always help out even if they only pop by for an hour.”
The support the couple has received has been inconsistent.
“My mom, on the other hand, has a lot to say and butts in constantly.”
“She pouts when we ask for the baby back.”
“She talks like the baby (‘Mommy wants to take you away from Gramma, but I won’t let her!’ or ‘Princess demands that Gramma changes her into a pretty outfit, Mommy put me in a BORING ONE.’)”
“I have no more patience for my mom’s steamrolling, especially since she’s barely acknowledged my nephews since the baby came home.”
“She even objects to her name and insists that we change it or call her by a nickname she deems acceptable.”
The OP tried to establish new boundaries with her mother.
“My mom’s behavior is nothing new to me, so I told her several times not to drop in without calling; whether she’s 5 minutes away or 30, it doesn’t matter.”
“I don’t want guests dropping in to sit in my messy living room to play with the baby while ignoring my wife and I, that doesn’t fly with me.”
One of the new boundaries was to respect the couple’s weekend plans.
“On Sunday we were going to my in-laws’ house for brunch and time to relax.”
“I told my mom 3 times when we spoke on the phone during the week that we weren’t taking visitors this weekend and had plans.”
“My wife and I were getting ready to leave. She was with the baby when I brought the diaper bag and stuff to the car.”
“Who pulled up when my wife came out? My mom.”
The OP held to her new boundaries.
“I was already frustrated, so I went right up to my wife, told her to pretend that she’s not here, and don’t even look at her.”
“Mom started talking at me (where are we going and why, how long we’ll be) and I walked past her.”
“My wife put the baby in the car seat, my mom said she was doing it wrong.”
“As soon as my wife was in the car, I looked at my mom and asked why she didn’t call.”
“Mom insisted she didn’t have to call when she was already down the street.”
“I told her that’s not how this works.”
“My daughter is not a show pony and I am sick of her acting like she knows best while disrespecting my wife and I.”
“Until she actually calls before she visits, we will not entertain her anymore.”
“When we returned home, my mom was waiting in her car for us. I had a feeling that she’d do something like that.”
“My wife and I had agreed to just ignore her and walk right past her when she tried to follow us.”
“It was a little rude of me, but I shut the door in her face.”
The mother and other family members did not take this well.
“She called my cell over and over again, waiting to be let inside, but I just let it ring.”
“Needless to say, I have been flooded with messages from relatives, saying that I acted childish and cruel; how dare I keep my daughter away from her grandmother.”
“The only people on our side are my sister and in-laws.”
“So tell me: am I an a**hole for ignoring my mom the way I did?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some totally agreed with the OP’s actions.
“I actually love the way OP and her wife approached this situation. You laid the boundaries, she didn’t respect them, so she gets ignored. I love it.” – Gracillar
“NTA. F**k yeah, dude!!! I’m proud of you for sticking up to her and standing your ground.”
“Nothing comes before your wife and child, and you made sure that is abundantly clear.”
“Grandmother or not, she sounds like an absolute nightmare to deal with. Just because you’re related doesn’t give her the right to act like that.” – sharkbuddie
“This woman is nuts!”
“First, she came over unannounced and demanded to be catered to, then she sat in the driveway waiting for probably at least an hour or 2, then she attempted to enter the house despite clearly not being wanted, then she again sat in their driveway for however long spam calling OP to be let in, and when even that didn’t work, she called upon her flying monkeys to come harrass OP as well.”
“That’s dedication, and not in a good way. This woman seems obsessed, it’s very concerning.” – Dismal-Lead
“NTA. 1. She’s not respecting your boundaries. 2. Your examples of her ‘baby talk’ are freaking weird.”
“I’m all for having good relationships with family members, but there is only so much you can take.” – Cricket73646
Others pointed out that being a grandparent is a privilege, not a right.
“I think it’s weird that grandparents just assume they are entitled to rights without having to have any basic respect for their actual child, who is NOW the parent.”
“Bottom line is grandparents need to back the f**k off when nicely asked.” – Anxious_Public_5409
“Being a grandparent is a privilege, not a right. She needs to follow the parents’ rules and show basic human decency and respect for the parents or she gets no time with the child. It’s not that hard.” – skydiamond01
“It’s a privilege, not a right. Love this so much.”
“OP, your mother sounds toxic as h**l. I’m so proud that you stood up for yourself and your wife! My in-law relationships sound eerily similar, so I understand how hard it is. Hoping with you that time helps them all have better boundaries.” – mama-Id4
After receiving comments, the OP shared an update.
“Thanks for all the feedback so far. The post has only been up for an hour and I feel vindicated.”
“My wife and I already decided to put my mom and several other relatives on timeout.”
“Especially since a lot of them showed no interest in our lives till we had a baby.”
“Tells us all we need to know about their priorities.”
“Once my mother is in a calmer headspace, I am laying down the law with her. I want to be fair, but I have to be firmer with her too.”
Whatever the OP’s mother’s original intentions, the subReddit agreed the OP still has the right to protect herself, her wife, and her child, physically and emotionally. If that means not letting someone come into their house, one time or for a while, so be it.